Millpond Seas Off The Great Orme At Llandudno This Morning

View from Great Orme

The views from the Great Orme, Llandudno are spectacular!

An early morning visit to the local patch, the Great Orme, Llandudno this morning was wonderful, we are so lucky to have this place on our doorstep. An early start, before it got too hot yes this is really Wales, and within minutes Alan was on the Marine Drive at Llandudno on the Great Orme, looking for birds. The sea was like a millpond not a ripple and the sun was coming up over the eastern horizon with Llandudno Pier in the foreground – an impressive view! Cormorants and Shags dived for fish west of the pier and an adult Gannet cruised slowly over the mirror-like water. Two Rock Pipits fed along the Marine Drive but our resident pair of Peregrines were not on their usual perches, presumably out looking for breakfast?

Stonechat male Gt Orme winter

Stonechats are one of the lovely resident birds on the Great Orme.

Moving further along the headland a male bird dived off the wall ahead and dropped out of sight. Stopping and peering over the wall a lovely male Stonechat was showing off on top of some bracken. A scan of the sea from this new vantage point produced three harbour porpoise breaking the calm surface. Seven Common Scoter skimmed low over the sea heading west and more Gannets circled over the area where the porpoises were feeding.

In the cemetery no sign of any real migrant birds but plenty to see with a large and noisy flock of Goldfinches, several Greenfinches, Swallows were lining up on the telegraph wires and amongst them a few House Martins. A Common Buzzard surveyed the area from the top of a tree and both Robin and Wrens sang in the still sunlit air.

Next stop was on the Marine Drive short of the lighthouse, a great view from here, and lots of birds over the sea. Kittiwakes were amongst lots of Herring Gulls feeding in a tight flock. More Gannets here too and four Manx Shearwater flew slowly west, guess the lack of wind making it tough for them to get going! A first-winter Mediterranean Gull flew west along with a steady trickle of Sandwich Terns and five more Common Scoter. A Pied Wagtail dropped out of the sky and landed on the wall, perhaps a new arrived migrant?

Wheatear Holme Sept

Lovely to see migrant Northern Wheatears on the limestone pavements.

On again and up onto the limestone pavement area on top of the huge headland. Parking here, Alan set off up the hill to the left seeing plenty of Meadow Pipits but not much else. At the top of the hill more Meadow Pipits, then the soft “cheeow” call of a Chough, scanning around this lovely crow was spotted on the wall nearby and showed off nicely. A second Chough then flew in and both birds fed on the short grass beyond the summit cairn. Three Northern Wheatears popped into view and showed off in the sunshine, such beautiful birds and real migrants here. Next came a surprise with two Goldcrests in a patch of gorse out on the limestone pavement, early for migrant Goldcrests. A Raven flapped heavily over the whoosh of its wings loud in the still air. In the hawthorn bushes bordering the limestone pavements five more Goldcrests were feeding and another Northern Wheatear was feeding nearby so some migration in progress.

Back at the car two more Stonechats showed off and a Curlew flew low overhead – unusual up there on the limestone pavement area. Time for breakfast!

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips, please see our tours pages and if you have any questions at all please fire away here….

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!

Great Orme

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